Our Journey & Milestones
Let us walk you through our journey!
Wanting to improve poor living conditions in Bukit Ho Swee, we were born and known as the Bukit Ho Swee Community Service Project.
1969 – 1975
We then began visiting homes to find out what the residents’ biggest gripes were and it turned out to be unhygienic communal toilets and rat infestations.
Thinking it was a good idea to encourage them to be proactive and voice out their problems to the government, we backed them up with administrative support. We also started a multi-purpose cooperative society to provide cheaper rice and other household items.
After many hiccups, we started running low on funds and morale and had to close our doors.
The strong desire to help the residents of Bukit Ho Swee never left us so we pulled ourselves together, and got back on our feet. With the help of the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary (F.M.M.), we were back in action with an actual premises called Nazareth Centre. And were affectionately known to the residents as N.C. since our original name was quite a mouthful.
Running on just a single staff member, we were heartened that many residents and their friends came forward as volunteers. Together, we set up a tuition scheme that benefitted 160 needy children, built recreation clubs to get youths off the streets and introduced pre-school education for the little ones. For our efforts, we were honoured to receive the National Youth Service Team Award.
Thanks to well-wishers, we could fund our efforts but worrying about finances and running programmes at the same time was not easy. So we gladly accepted when The Community Chest of Singapore offered to step in and take care of fund raising. On January 22, we moved houses to Jalan Klinik and we haven’t budged since.
The time was right to make things official so we registered as Bukit Ho Swee Social Service Centre and became a member of the now-called National Council of Social Service.
A welcome invitation from the Ministry of Community Development to be recognised as a Family Service Centre with full funding gave us the opportunity to double our floor space to accommodate our growing projects and family.
And this was the year we were proud to finally be a full-fledged, one-stop social service centre, serving children, youths, parents and the elderly.
The smiles of our community are more than enough to keep us going but it was another proud moment when the Ministry of Community Development identified us as a benchmark agency for Children, Youth and Volunteer Development Services.
1992 – 2000
We kept thinking up creative ways to tackle social problems to better serve our community. Initiatives along the way included Live-In Therapy for low-income families with multiple problems, Streetwise Programme to get youths out of gangs and the Battered Women’s Support Group.
2000 – 2009
We’ve come a long way and with over 30 years of experience and expertise, we thought it’d be a good time to offer our services beyond Bukit Ho Swee.
Looking back on our journey and prepping for the future, we worked on our philosophy and streamlined our vision, mission and goals before officially changing our name to Beyond Social Services.
Fresh from change but with the same dedicated commitment to being an Advocate, Motivator and Service Provider, we spread our efforts through new programmes and initiatives with a focus on youths. Let us fill you in on some of the highlights.
We helped the government pilot the Healthy Start Programme for little ones aged 2-6 to ensure that children from disadvantaged families have access to early childhood care and education.
Getting the word out about the challenges our youths face led us to organising the very first Streetwise Run, which also doubled up as our National Youth Day Celebration and main fundraiser.
Rising juvenile delinquency rates became a concern so we did a little studying of the successful Family Group Conferencing Model from New Zealand and introduced it locally as part of Restorative Justice Service.
With teen pregnancy also on the rise, we saw the need to provide these teens with a support network so with the support of voluntary welfare partners, MCYS and NCSS, we launched Babes, which still runs today.
Children and youths lacking care led us to setting up 2 Small Group Homes to house, protect and reintegrate them to their families.
When the Singapore Prisons Service appointed us as a Restorative Care Operator for the Reformative Training Centre, we were heartened to be able to help young male offenders ease back into society upon their release.
Social work brings many joys to us and we wanted to share that with others and promote it as a career option. So we collaborated with German universities Otto-Friedrich (Bamberg) and Potsdam University of Applied Sciences to provide a Diploma in Social Work Practice and other certification programmes.
2010 – 2012
Moving forward, we realised we could grow our work by nurturing collective social responsibility and enabling others to step forward. From here on, we embraced a new role as an Enabler.
Starting off with contributing to the Alternate Report to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) – an international charter setting out the civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights of every child, regardless of their race, religion or abilities.
Our youths got the chance to interact and exchange skills with athletes from many different countries at the Singapore Youth Olympic Games (SYOG) in 2010.
For the first time, insurance companies Asia Capital Reinsurance and SHC Capital provided personal accident insurance cover to more than 329 families for a year at no cost, putting a smile on many faces including ours.
We are all about community involvement and togetherness so we kickstarted a new tradition – Youth United Day (YU Day) – where all youths, families, donors, volunteers, Board members and partners can get together to celebrate Youth Day. The more the merrier!
As part of our research efforts to help better our programmes, we began conducting the Singapore Youth Resilience Survey in 5 local secondary schools from 2010-2011. We found out that there was a consistent drop in student resilience after Secondary 2, which is also the age where adolescent development and significant changes occur.
From our research, we were able to create more targeted programmes, with Youth United being our main one.
It’s been quite a ride so far and we will continue to serve disadvantaged children, youths and their families as best as we can. As we get bigger and better, spreading our efforts islandwide, we need the support of both the government and our community at large to keep the work alive.
We are most grateful for the generosity of philanthropic establishments, commercial corporations, well-wishers and those who have been ever helpful in our fundraising efforts.